come on over to the dark side

Last week after the earthquake, sildenafil Jen and I decided we needed to spend more time together before another natural disaster hit, about it so we made plans to spend a girls’ night in on Friday. Little did we know that a hurricane had other ideas for the weekend.

I convinced Jen to come over and drink wine motivate me while I finally took the plunge and cracked open the cans of paint waiting patiently in my basement (since April, cough). As you might’ve seen on Twitter, I shared a highly flattering picture of Jen’s taping skills to prove her hands-on participation. Thanks to Jen for the thrill. And all my straight lines because I hate taping.

I’ve been wanting to paint a wall charcoal ever since I saw how beautiful it was at D16 and SFGIRLBYBAY. But it takes some courage to commit to a black wall like that. It’s intimidating. I know, I know – I painted the bathroom black. And the front door (eventually) hot pink black. And our kitchen cabinets black. I might be slightly obsessed. Whatever.

One Hurricane Irene and approximately 27 hours of bad tv later, two coats of charcoal paint had gone up, plus trim and cove ceiling. The scary wind and rain couldn’t stop me!

the dining room got a coat of paint

Oh, yeah. And did I mention I picked up a set of vintage Bertoia chairs on eBay? They came all the way from New Orleans. I’m pretty sure the furniture designer who powdercoated them for me thought I was nuts when I asked him if they made hot pink powder. But — hoooo boy. I think he was just as psyched as me. Is it wrong to daydream about chairs?

(Pssst – he has more chairs. Leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll put you in touch!)

dining room makeoverdining room makeover

The teak sideboard, table, and chairs take on so much more of a reddish hue and seem so much warmer with the high-contrast paint. I really need to follow The Brick House’s wood restoring tutorial and not be lazy. But that would take some effort. Hmm…

dining room makeover

I haven’t hung any art or mirrors yet, but I’m making plans. Strictly monotone or bright and colorful? I have to decide. Either way, I’m already in love with the high-contrast look, so I can’t wait to finish the room. By day, the colors seem more dramatic and by night it’s cozier and warmer. Another +1 for black paint!

For those interested in the specifics, the paint is BM “Wrought Iron,” in eggshell Natura. Trim is BM “Simply White,” in satin. And those are zinnias from my garden. I love them.

dining room makeover

I can’t believe it’s already been a year!

Today is an exciting day: it marks the one-year anniversary that I became a homeowner!

I vividly remember trekking to Midtown from DUMBO, help the anxious trip to the bank, order that crazy feeling of writing the biggest check of my life. Heading to the closing office, sildenafil meeting the daughter of the former owners and talking with her attorney about how the ol’ neighborhood used to be. Signing a million documents. Sipping an iced coffee to calm my nerves. Hugging my attorney after it was all over because she was amazing and patient and helped answer all my questions through the process. And finally getting those keys!

Looking back, it’s so surreal. I still pinch myself sometimes when I walk in the front door. I feel so blessed to have found a house that I truly love, with beautiful bones and a lovely family history. And I am so thankful for all the amazing renovation and design bloggers that have provided so much inspiration and confidence through my most wide-eyed and panicky moments. The internet totally, totally rules.

So today, I wanted to share a few of my recent Instagram photos of day-to-day life at the house, and raise this year’s iced coffee to toast the best (and scariest) year of my life… so far!









we passed our inspection!!!

website like this on Flickr”>electrical inspection- PASSED!

I have very exciting news today: we passed our electrical inspection this morning! [cue the happy dance!]

After some minor fixes, web a no-show inspector, and months of waiting, the city finally came through this morning to review and we have officially passed our inspection! I was so excited to tear down the sign and hand over my final payment to the awesome guys at Transcend and be done with it. Though there’s plenty of work to be done on the house yet, it’s now all on us to get motivated and get it done.

Also: how crazy is it that it’s been almost a year since we closed on this place?!

installing a bamboo click-lock floor

I’m a little embarrassed to say it’s been three months since we started on this project, and and I’m just now getting around to writing a blog post about it! My parents visited us in early March to celebrate my dad’s birthday, doctor and said they would love to get cracking on a project around the house. Since we had recently picked up our new kitchen floor materials and the boxes were just wasting space in the parlor, my dad suggested we install it over the weekend. Count us in!

Our contractors at Transcend tore out the vintage vinyl tile floor during the big renovation, and then repaired and leveled the subfloor when we installed new cabinetry for the sink peninsula. They would have installed the floor for us, but I wanted to save money and try and DIY it. We chose an inexpensive eco-friendly floating bamboo floor from Lumber Liquidators in Gowanus (Schon Quick Clic), partly because I wasn’t ready to commit to something more permanent and have always loved the look of bamboo. As it worked out, it was a 2-3 person job, so having the family around was a great help. What did NOT help, though, was scheduling a brunch for the day we chose to install the floor. The project took longer than expected, so it was a balancing act to get everything to the table.

First things first — my dad and Zach moved the fridge out of the kitchen and helped to lay down the padded underlayment, which cushions the floor and makes it a whole lot quieter to walk on. This part was easy.

The shiny blue underlayment came in a big roll, which they had to cut into strips with a utility knife to fit the roughly 85 square feet in which the new floor was installed. Here’s Zach taping the strips together with duct tape to make sure the coverage is seamless and it doesn’t shift over time as the floors inevitably expand and contract with the seasons and humidity.

After the underlayment went down, Zach and Dad started from a corner of the kitchen and began to cut lengths of the bamboo with our awesome new circular saw (Christmas present — Thanks, Dad!) to create a staggered pattern so that the click-lock seams would never meet up and create an instability in the floor. They started from the corner nearest our door to the basement, and regretted this later — starting near a door requires that your ends line up perfectly whereas starting near a wall or cabinetry is a bit easier. That way you can theoretically cover up any uneven seams with shoe molding, but I digress.

I didn’t get many pictures of the installation process, because this is the point at which I was trying to make brunch for 10 and people were starting to arrive, haha. Fortunately, my cousin’s husband also showed up and was excited to pitch in and help. In the meantime, the rest of us made impressive headway on our mimosas.

After brunch, we sat back to admire their handiwork, and it is definitely a big improvement in the kitchen. The light-colored bamboo makes the kitchen seem larger, is easy to clean, and comfortable to stand on while cooking. After reading reviews about how easy it is to nick or ding, I did lay down a jute runner for padding and protection, but we haven’t had any trouble with it so far.

Now we’ve just gotta lay down quarter-round molding to complete the finished look. But so far, I’m really pleased with the floor and so thankful that it’s installed. On to the next project!